On January 25, 2022, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences welcomed new faculty member, Daniel Landauer, PhD. Dr. Landauer is an assistant professor and a child and adolescent psychologist who will start seeing patients at the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB) in February.

Dr. Landauer earned an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. His undergraduate degree in psychology is from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In addition, Dr. Landauer completed a fellowship in clinical child psychology at the U of M. Most recently, he was a child and adolescent psychologist with the Sanford Health Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program and at the Sanford Health Child Behavioral Health Clinic, both in Fargo, ND.

Building skills with youth in crisis
To help build his clinical experience with youth in crisis, Dr. Landauer completed an APA-accredited internship at the Youth Opportunity Center, a residential treatment facility for youth with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties in Muncie, IN. He also finished a postdoctoral fellowship focused on Intensive outpatient treatment programs for teens with depression and children with behavioral issues at the U of M and PrairieCare in Brooklyn Park, MN.

Dr. Landauer has experience in school-based mental health, community mental health care, psychological assessment of youth in crisis, and with family-based interventions. At MIDB, he will work with youth who have severe emotion-regulation issues, which lead to impulsive behaviors such as suicidal behavior or self-harm. He will also see patients with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and borderline personality disorder “Youth who have trouble managing their lives effectively,” he said. He will also provide individual, family, and group therapy.

Rebuilding the DBT program
Excited to be back in Minnesota, Dr. Landauer’s primary goal is to help restart and strengthen the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) program for adolescents. “I want to help improve how it works, assess outcomes in several areas, determine how to disseminate the treatment more widely, and diversify who’s getting it,” he said. Dr. Landauer will also train clinicians in delivering it.

Daniel Landauer, PhD

Dialectical behavior therapy addresses several skill deficits such as emotion regulation. “DBT helps patients figure out how to regulate the ups and downs of their emotions,” said Dr. Landauer (pictured here). “It enables them to make sure they’re more proactively recognizing when emotions are rising and how to deal with them.” He wants to help increase patients’ distress tolerance – how to be in a bad situation and not react impulsively. “We use DBT to teach them to handle their strong emotions before they get out of hand – to help them do something different,” Dr. Landauer said.

That means enabling the teens to recognize emotional triggers through a technique known as chain analysis. “We teach them to ask themselves what factors contributed to what happened,” said Dr. Landauer. “What happened first, then what happened, etc. Figuring out where in the chain is an opportunity to do something different and recognizing how behaviors link together and how our responses to situations influence things.”

Tracking patient outcomes
A small component of Dr. Landauer’s new role is dedicated to research. “I want to figure out how to track patient outcomes more effectively and to figure out what really matters,” he explained. “We want to help our patients create a life worth living, recognizing that even though things might not be going well, you can still have a very successful life.” To Dr. Landauer, that means identifying the measures of a good life, such as attending school, doing things they enjoy, doing healthy things, and spending time with friends. “Are they doing things we would expect healthy teens to do, even though they’re depressed,” he asked. In addition, Dr. Landauer plans to look at interpersonal factors that influence youth depression and suicide ideation.

When he has some spare time, Dr. Landauer enjoys watching movies. He is also a big Chicago sports fan and likes spending time with friends. He lives in the Uptown area of the Twin Cities.